There's a lot of hubbub in the rap cognoscenti around this new release from Daniel Dumile, man of a thousand (well, at least 5) names. He's hardly been out of sight since 1999's Operation Doomsday, but a new release under the name that seems nearest to his heart is something special. This album is organized around the food "concept," but as always the song titles are simply jumping-off points for Doom's uninhibited imagination. Over his own Lite FM-inspired beats ("Hoe Cakes" loops Anita Baker), Doom muses over topics close to home (girls, weed, friends), always with an eye to absurd and apt detail that places him in the company of the greatest poets. Indeed, in a just world, Dumile would be a poet laureate, officially recognized for his genius-level skill. Take a look at how he treats wack rappers, a grade school-level subject worn to threadbare tatters by a generation of MCs. Doom finds seemingly endless ways to cover it ("MCs is crabs in a barrel pass the Old Bay," "Out of work jerks since they shut down Chippendale's"), lacing almost every line with multiple internal rhymes that place the lyrics halfway between poetry and tongue-twisters ("If I had a dime for every rhymer that bust guns / I'd have a cool mil for my sons in trust funds"). And the true virtuoso makes the very difficult look easy: songs are filled with nonchalant phrases that stick in your skull ("frown like the first time you taste couscous")- and just try to repeat some of those palate-mangling syllables. By today's standards (hey Nas), the album is short; barely cracking 45 minutes. Two of the songs were previously released (the Stones Throw fan club 45 "One Beer" and the Molemen-produced gem "Kon Queso," called "Yee Haw" when it was an indy 12-inch single), and the middle 5 minutes of the CD are taken up by a funny and beautifully absurd collage of found sound. Grounds for complaints, perhaps, but I'm not left wanting more. The collabos are done tastefully and without fanfare, with lab hero Count Bass D's "Potholderz" the standout. Also check quick rotation favorites "Guinnessez, Kon Karne" and "Deep Fried Frenz." A necessary album for the true school head; MM..Food is perhaps a bit older and more cynical, but just as clever and exciting.
- music label: Rhymesayers 2007